Learning and Evaluation/Archive/Grants overview

This is a page for organizing the development of a new page (or set of pages) that provide an overview of WMF Grantmaking.

Project overviewEdit

We are planning to supplement the existing Grants:Start page with an easy-to-read overview of WMF grantmaking programs and Grantmaking Learning & Evaluation. That page will be located in the Grants namespace, potentially at Grants:Overview or Grants:Index.


Information about individual grant programs and learning and evaluation is available, but the big picture of WMF Grantmaking is not well represented on meta or any of our other public wikis. Grantmaking strategy, the role we play within the Wikimedia movement, our history and goals, and the way we pursue those goals should be made more visible and presented in way that is clear and engaging to anyone who is interested, whether they are inside or outside our movement.


The Grants overview page will be oriented primarily towards potential first-time grantees (people who are interested in finding out more about what we fund, and how to participate) and other community members who are interested in getting involved in or keeping tabs on Grantmaking at WMF. In general, we want to make it easier for anyone inside or outside of our movement to get a sense of who we are and what we do, even if they have no intention of submitting a grant proposal.


The Grants overview will not contain every possible piece of information about WMF Grantmaking. It doesn't need to. It needs to tell the story of Grantmaking in a way that is informative but also easy to skim and to digest. It's not intended to be a full web portal: it won't, for instance, contain every possible link to every possible grant-related resource. Readers interested in-depth information about WMF Grantmaking and about specific programs/teams can be directed to the existing information pages like Grantmaking_and_Programs#Grantmaking, Grants:Learning & Evaluation, and Grants:PEG, via links in the main body of the page, or in a sidebar/footer.

In a subsequent phase of the redesign, we intend to standardize the layout of those pages to conform with the Grants overview (see Grantmaking identity, below).


Working draft at User:Jmorgan (WMF)/Grants_start_redesign.

"Increasing the quantity, quality, diversity, and reach of free knowledge. Supporting mission-allied people and organizations around the world."
Explore grantmaking
Get involved
  • Submit a proposal (content)
  • Join a committee (content)
  • Share your knowledge (links to portals, patterns, etc - not currently included)
Learn more
  • Grantmaking blog (gallery)
  • Guiding documents (or other agenda docs, for transparency - direct links, no subpage)
  • FAQ (content)

Build rationaleEdit

The page will be divided into several main sections. Separate sections will introduce:

  • the people involved in grantmaking (grantees, committees and other volunteer participants, and staff)
  • our four grantmaking programs
  • our priorities and approach to grantmaking (what projects we focus on and why, and how we support ideation and evaluation)
  • Frequently asked questions and answers

Other sections, such as one containing recent/relevant news items or a menu with links to other grantmaking pages, will be kept short.

Wherever possible, we'll avoid long paragraphs of descriptive text. Instead, we'll use pictures of people, pictures from actual grant-funded activities, and testimonials to convey the message.

Examples of existing start/landing pages that do a good job of telling a story without overwhelming the reader with massive quantities of information:

summarizes the purpose of the team succinctly, provides some recent news and project/people profiles, and then points to other communication channels (mailing lists & newsletter) to learn more.
provides an overview of what it's like to work at WMF that can be navigated in two different ways: you can read the page as a single linear narrative by scrolling down, or navigate to specific sections using the global nav.

The Grants overview page will likely incorporate elements of both of these landing pages.

Grantmaking identityEdit

Another way we want to tell our story is through a distinctive brand identity. Nomenclature for our programs, processes and partners (i.e. movement, Foundation, Global South) should be kept consistent throughout the overview pages, and all jargon should be defined. Logos, color palette, and a common set of page templates will provide a visual design language to anchor the page. These elements can be incorporated into other grant program portals and pages to make the look, feel, and navigation of the Grants: namespace more cohesive and consistent.

Possible ComponentsEdit

pictures with testimonials and brief descriptions will be used to introduce the people who participate in Grantmaking, our grant programs, and our portals (IdeaLab and the Evaluation Portal), and to feature bite-sized, engaging pieces of content that illustrate our approach to grantmaking and the activities we fund, such as learning patterns and grantee blog posts.
Quotes from grantees and participants in grant-funded activities are used as a lightweight method for giving the reader a sense of what grant funding does (remember the old writers' adage: show, don't tell)
particularly photos taken at grant-funded activities, and pictures of people involved in grantmaking (possibly cribbed from existing IEG, IdeaLab, Eval portal, and WMF Staff photo sets).
Grants matrix
the existing content of Grants:Start could be made available in the programs section of the page, and definitely linked to through a header or menu navigation link.

FAQ Examples questionsEdit

  • questions about what kinds of things WMF Grants fund, and what they don't (like Scholarships)
  • the grantmaking decision process (highlighting the role of community committees)
  • the relationship between GLEE and PE&D
  • how we choose our strategic priorities (and/or thematic calls for participation)
  • the role of learning & evaluation

Next stepsEdit

The first version of the Grants Start redesign will be published on 27 January 2014. Feedback gathered from the talk page and from other channels will be synthesized and prioritized here.


  • More links to existing pages
  • What about upcoming events for the Grantmaking team? EG IRC session, work with PED, etc.
  • I'd love to see a section about highlights or stories from grantees. Photos and a really cool box that tells about their work.
  • Would the flowchart Haitham created come here? I think that would be more useful than the "submit a proposal" box.
  • Would like to see the FAQ link to another page, not found on main page.
  • Would love to have this in other languages. :)
  • Also, not sure "mission-allied" is immediately clear. Glad to see the hyperlink, but it might not be clear what or whose mission we're assuming people will be aligned with. Could we say "Wikimedia movement mission aligned?" Not a nice ring to it...not sure I have a better solution than the hyperlink.
  • do we link anywhere to the evaluation portal?
  • link to "staff" page from "staff" section
  • link to IdeaLab from "IdeaLab" section

Images we could addEdit